We sent the veterinary nutrition organization the most important issues to pet food quality for their opinion. Will they respond or ignore us?
Pet Nutrition Alliance is a veterinary organization that provides pet food “resources to veterinary healthcare teams.”
One of the “resources” Pet Nutrition Alliance provides to veterinarians is their new “Dare to Ask…about your pet’s food. We did!” On the overview page of the “Dare to Ask…” resource is the explanation to why the organization asked about pet food:
Making Informed Pet Food Decisions
The veterinary healthcare team plays a vital role in helping pet owners make informed decisions about their pets’ food. While most owners base this decision on the ingredient list, this does not provide enough information about the quality of the food or the nutritional composition of the diet.
Pet Nutrition Alliance is right, the ingredient list does not provide enough information about the quality of the pet food. The reason a pet food ingredient list doesn’t provide quality or nutritional information is because pet food ingredients are allowed by regulatory authorities to be dramatically variable in quality (from edible to condemned) with no warning or disclosure on the pet food label.
But, the organization doesn’t explain this regulatory nightmare of pet food to veterinarians (it’s not even mentioned on their website). Instead, Pet Nutrition Alliance provides veterinarians quality of pet food information based on two main questions they asked pet food manufacturers:
- Does the pet food own its manufacturing facility or is a co-packer used?
- Is a Nutrition Expert used in the formulation of the pet food – either consulted or full-time employee?
While these are valid questions to ask a pet food manufacturer, they provide absolutely no information about “the quality of the food“ – the proposed purpose of the Pet Nutrition Alliance Dare to Ask resource.
So, we dared to ask Pet Nutrition Alliance the following questions…(sent 6/1/2019 via the website Contact Us form – confirmation of receipt provided)…
How does Pet Nutrition Alliance feel about feed grade pet food ingredients, specifically the use of (allowed by FDA) diseased animal material and material sourced from non-slaughtered animals? Would condemned animal material such as this be considered by your organization inferior nutrition?
If yes (PNA considers diseased and non-slaughtered animal material as inferior nutrition), what efforts has PNA taken to educate veterinarians and pet owners about such inferior nutrition? Has your organization taken any steps asking regulatory authorities to stop allowing their use?
If no (PNA considers diseased and non-slaughtered animal material as suitable nutrition), what scientific foundation is behind your belief these types of ingredients are suitable for use in pet food?
Should Pet Nutritional Alliance provide a response, it will be posted in its entirety.
Confirmed by FDA, these ingredients ARE in pet food.
As recent as 4/30/2019 the FDA publicly stated (see FDA Final Response):
“We do not believe that the use of diseased animals or animals that died otherwise than by slaughter to make animal food poses a safety concern and we intend to continue to exercise enforcement discretion where appropriate.”
But…and this is significant…the FDA has no science to prove these ingredients are safe. TruthaboutPetFood.com dared to ask FDA in 2016 for the scientific evidence proving pet food ingredients sourced from “diseased animals or animals that died otherwise than by slaughter” are safe for pets to consume. A Freedom of Information request for this evidence of safety was sent to FDA asking:
I am requesting the CVM data that these Compliance Policies were based on – specifically the data that proves rendered diseased or non-slaughtered animals is not a risk to pets. It is assumed CVM has science to prove diseased and/or non-slaughtered are of no risk to pets.
The FDA responded with:
In other words…
…the FDA has NO scientific evidence these illegal waste ingredients of pet food allowed by the agency are safe.
It’s very simple…quality nutrition begins with quality ingredients. And every veterinary organization should be loudly speaking up for quality of ingredients as the foundation of quality nutrition. As well, every veterinary organization should be loudly speaking against FDA’s allowance of waste recycled into pet food with no warning or disclosure to pet owners AND veterinarians.
To date, veterinary organizations have remained silent on these significant pet food issues.
For pet owners that wish to provide their pet with quality nutrition, the priority questions to ask your pet food manufacturer is:
Are all animal protein ingredients USDA inspected and passed? Are all ingredients and supplements human edible?
Absolutely “Dare to Ask about your Pet’s Food“, but ask questions that will give you information on the true quality of your pet food (and encourage your veterinarian to ask too). If you’d like to know if the pet food is manufactured in company owned facilities or who formulated the pet food – certainly ask those questions too. The more information pet owners and veterinarians have, the better.
To read about the Pet Nutrition Alliance survey, view results, and read their protocols of the Dare to Ask about your Pet’s Food resource, Click Here (multiple tabs at top right of page to click).
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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